Sunday, February 12, 2012

Inspired to Link - The Failure Edition


If you are trying to build your PLN, Dr. Mark Wagner wrote an article entitled Personal Learning Networks for Educators: 10 Tips, which is a good overview of a variety of tools and strategies. I read most of the article thinking 'ya, ya, OK, ya' (not that I do all of the things he listed, but I know about all of the things he listed). And then I got to a quote by Will Richardson.

 “If your school system hasn’t changed a year from now, I get it… but if you haven’t changed a year from now, you’re a failure.”

That stopped me in my tracks. I went back and re-read it. And then again.

What a true statement. We are only as good at our jobs as we are willing to reflect, try, fail, and try something different.


Which leads me to, Why I Hire People Who Fail by Jeff Stibel. I have ideas percolating for a "failure wall" in my room incorporating writing and reading into the unit. (Adding math would be easy, too.)


Successful scientists fail over and over and over. Kenneth Boehr was not expecting success when his 5th grader asked about a chemical she had just 'created', but Susana Polo's article, 5th Grader Accidentally Makes Explosive in Class, Gets Co-Authorship on Subsequent Paper explains the true outcome.


A thought to ponder. When Students “Fail” Should They be Allowed Do-overs? Robert Ryshke wrote the article and I would agree with him. Do you?

Tonight, one of the assignments my fifth graders are tackling is their "Math Test Corrections". They can earn back missed points by telling me what they did wrong, what they should do to fix it, and then showing me the correct work and answer for the math problem. To me that furthers the learning process, which is what I ultimately care about.

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